JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Duval County assistant principal will not be returning to Terry Parker High School in the fall. Oscar Harris will still be employed by the district but won’t be working with students at this time.
Action News Jax first showed you this video back in February. In it, you see a man in a white shirt holding onto a girl in a red shirt. The man pushed the girl, grabs her by the neck and slams her into a fence.
The girl in the video is 17-year-old Alajaah Brown. She admits to fighting with another student. The Duval County Public Schools district said Harris was trying to break up the fight. In an incident report, DCPS said “there is sufficient credible evidence to support the allegations (against Harris).”
Action News Jax reporter Meghan Moriarty uncovered another incident just days before.
The district spokesperson emailed Moriarty on Thursday and said Harris “is still employed with the district.” It goes on to say he was “reassigned to a role with no student contact.”
During Moriarty’s investigation into that incident, she found a second investigation into Harris. Just nine days before the February incident, Harris “grabbed a student by the head/neck area and pushed the student to the floor,” according to a DCPS incident report. It goes on to say Harris “used profanity such as ‘oh you’re a [expletive] now.’”
The district found those allegations to be credible.
This is not the first time Harris was investigated by the district. Moriarty uncovered eight other incidents in his 346-page personnel file. Six incidents occured when he was employed with DCPS and two were from his employment with Broward County Schools.
He was suspended in 2011 without pay for 30 days for lying to law enforcement when his students allegedly stole from the Bradford County football team’s locker room. In a background check, Moriarty found any criminal charges from JSO were dismissed against Harris.
He was suspended without pay for 15 days in 2015 for what the district called “overly aggressive” behavior towards a student.
Moriarty called Harris on Thursday to get his side of the story. He said he has no comment.
Moriarty also reached out to the district to learn what’s being done to assist teachers when students act out and how it is preventing violence between teachers and students. The district gave the following statement:
“Disruptive student behavior absolutely has a negative impact on our educators, students, staff, and the school community, and a dire effect on the amount of learning and teaching that can take place in the classroom. Thankfully, our educators and school leaders do an exceptional job of managing their classrooms, and the cases involving the referenced individual are rare. We have courses and professional development opportunities for our educators in preventing and managing disruptive student behavior, but as always, we need the full support of our families and community in reinforcing with students the values of respect for themselves, their peers, their educators, and the learning environment.”
The district spokesperson said there are several training and professional development courses for preventing and managing disruptive student behavior:
- Basic Professional Crisis Management-De-Escalation Strategies
- Solutions to Classroom Discipline
- Avoiding Power Struggles
- Intensive Behavior Management
- Flip It-Relationship Building K-2
- Discipline in the Secondary Classroom
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